A THEORY OF RELATIVITY FOR BELIEF
What we need is a Theory of Relativity for belief, which would show:
— that each person is relative, a product of time and place, influenced by parents and peers, living under the influence of all manner of things.
— that the ideas and practices available to any individual spring from a specific time and place:
— that “God” must always be in quotes because whomever says the word uses it relative to some set of beliefs and practices embraced by only a fraction of humanity.
— that once we accept ideas and practices as absolute it’s almost impossible to reverse the process. The conditional, parochial and relative nature of ideas and practices disappear behind feelings of empowering, inspiring certainty, which become almost impossible to give up. In other words, hopes, dreams and fears build up around ideas and practices to such a towering degree that people would rather die than imagine other explanations or ways of living.
Therefore, we need a way of understanding that people are relative, that to the best of our knowledge all ideas and practices are relative, that holy scriptures are relative, that highly elaborated systems of belief are relative, that the many definitions of “God” are relative, that practices and methods are relative, that even “absolute truth” is relative, and that the only thing constant — for most of humanity — are feelings of certainty that arise as cherished ideas and practices assume a central role in their lives.